by Greg Mitchell -
“Move!” Crazy hollered, his meaty fists wrapped around Trebs’ wrists. The knife in Trebs’ left hand wavered centimeters from the pilot’s gray-white beard. Dressler stood back, hardly able to comprehend the order of events. In a span of seconds, Trebs had pulled a knife and lunged for the sub pilot, just as they reached the meeting place with the angel that had Edilyn’s cure. Crazy held his own—and rightly so for he was three times the size of Trebs—but the bug hunter was nearly superhuman in power. A sweaty sheen draped over his face and his eyes were glassy and mad.
“Trebs, stop!” Dressler shouted, futilely. “What are you doing?”
Trebs didn’t answer, his beady gaze directed on Crazy. Unrelenting, he leaned on the blade.
“A gun…” Crazy grunted, struggling. “Cockpit…Under the pilot’s seat…”
Dressler thought to run across the sub to find it, but acted instead, lunging on his co-worker—his guide down here into this aquatic hell—and wrapped around his arms. Pulling with every ounce of strength hard work had given him, Dressler roared, “Let go! Get off of him!”
“The jelly roller’s…snapped!” Crazy barked, his thick arms visibly shaking, giving in.
Dressler put Trebs in a chokehold and pried him off the pilot. Trebs merely flexed his trim arms, and Dressler was thrown backwards, hurtling across the card table where they’d shared drinks moments ago. He collapsed the table, dashing the ceramic mugs to the floor where they popped. Dazed, he pushed himself to his knees, feeling warmth spreading down his temple. Blood dripped from his stubbled chin, dotting the floor.
Getting his senses together, he looked back to Crazy still bravely wrestling with the knife. The ogre was on the floor now, on top of Trebs, trying desperately to turn the blade back on his attacker. Trebs never faltered, his face blank and expressionless, his eyes distant but intelligent. Like a machine.
“Gun!” Crazy shouted once more. This time Dressler did not hesitate. He clattered out of the small cabin, bouncing against the handrails, clanking down the hall, racing for the cockpit. His heart rammed hard in his chest and he thought of Edilyn.
I’m never going to see her again.
He tripped into the cockpit, falling face-first on hard metal. From his vantage point he glimpsed the simple handgun holstered underneath the pilot’s seat. Scrambling on hands and knees, he undid the latch and drew the gun. Checked to see it was loaded. Cocked it and rushed back to his friend.
Re-entering the cabin, he saw Crazy, spread on the floor.
Trebs stood over him, bloodied knife in hand, barely breathing hard.
“Dress,” he stated simply, Crazy’s life dripping off the knife’s edge.
A blossom of red spread on Crazy’s barrel chest, intermingling with his frizzy beard. The man’s eyes were cold, lifeless.
“Dress,” Trebs said once more, snapping him to.
Dressler ignored the man. Bared his teeth and raised the gun, firing. Trebs ducked impossibly out of the path of the bullet and it ricocheted off the wall deeper into the room, throwing sparks. “I’ll kill you!” Dressler screamed.
He shot again, but Trebs moved fast and leapt, tackling Dressler backwards, smacking his head on corrugated flooring. He saw stars, then only black.